The Pittsburgh Steelers could pursue a veteran QB on the trade block if they “throw in the towel.”
According to Doug Kyed of Pro Football Focus, there are only three starting spots for San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo — the Cleveland Browns, the Seattle Seahawks and the Steelers. While the Browns seem to be the favored spot for Garoppolo — if starting QB Deshaun Watson is suspended for the entire 2022 season — the Steelers could come in to play if their starting quarterback situation is not up to par.
“If Watson’s contract tolls in 2022, then it becomes easier to acquire Garoppolo, who would give the Browns a better chance of winning in 2022 than current backup Jacoby Brissett,” says Kyed. “Even if Watson’s suspension is increased but doesn’t hit the 17-game mark, adding Garoppolo still could make sense to keep Cleveland afloat. The Browns have a talented roster that could compete for a title.
Barring injury, there isn’t another obvious starting spot for Garoppolo unless the Pittsburgh Steelers or Seattle Seahawks wanted to throw in the towel on their starting QB competitions.”
Steelers Leaning With Trubisky as Starter
At the current moment, Mitch Trubisky is the likely starter. The veteran quarterback will enter the Steelers’ first preseason game as the starting QB with Mason Rudolph to follow after and rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett as the third one up. As Andrew Fillipponi of 93.7 The Fan noted on Monday, August 8, it’s “Trubisky’s starting job.”
“Steelers insider rayfitt1 says on 937theFan that there IS a quarterback competition,” says Fillipponi. “But it’s for the backup job. Rudolph vs. Pickett. It’s Trubisky’s starting job. Even with his up an down play in camp so far.”
However, it’s worth mentioning that it’s not as if Trubisky has overly impressed during training camp. As Chris Adamski of Tribune Live noted on Wednesday, August 10, Trubisky struggled during practice — especially on the seven shots 2-point conversions simulation.
“Mitch Trubisky began the team drills portion of Wednesday’s Pittsburgh Steelers practice by going 0 for 4 with some badly thrown passes,” said Adamski. “He ended it on the sidelines watching while Mason Rudolph and Kenny Pickett made plays and quickly led the offense to scores.”
“Trubisky misfired on all four of his opportunities in the traditional early-practice seven shots 2-point conversion simulation, including two balls that defenders got their hands on,” Adamski continued. “Robert Spillane could have had an interception on one.”
ALL the latest Steelers news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Steelers newsletter here!
Garoppolo is an Upgrade Over Trubisky
Considering Trubisky hasn’t started in two years — he served as a backup to Josh Allen with the Buffalo Bills in 2021 — he’s not exactly a surefire bet. While Garoppolo isn’t an All-Pro by any means, he’s a solid starter with a proven track record of success. Garoppolo is 33-14 (.702 winning percentage) as a starter and has led the Niners to a Super Bowl appearance and an NFC Championship Game appearance in his two lone healthy seasons as a starter.
According to Pro Football Focus, Garoppolo posted a 74.9 offensive grade last year and a 77.9 offensive grade during the 2019 season. Those grades ranked him 15th in 2021 and 13th in 2019. Trubisky has never posted higher than a 66.4 offensive grade as a starting QB.
The Steelers appear content enough with their quarterback situation with Trubisky, Rudolph and Pickett. However, if the quarterback situation proves to be underwhelming before the season, Pittsburgh could make a move for Garoppolo — assuming he’s still available.